Director, European Methane Policy

  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • London, UK
  • Feb 27, 2018
Full time Administrator/Executive Advocacy and Policy Climate Change/ Resiliency Communication - Public Outreach Environmental & Energy Law Energy Energy Efficiency Renewable Energy

Job Description

EDF’s Oil & Gas Program has set an ambitious goal is to achieve a 45% cut in global methane pollution by 2025 — in an effort to cut the warming expected over the next 20 years by the same amount as closing one third of the world’s coal-fired power plants. EDF has launched the first phase of this global strategy in North America, catalysing ground-breaking scientific studies to illuminate the scope of the problem and then helped secure significant methane reduction pledges from Canada, Mexico, and the US - at both the state and federal level. Now EDF is turning our attention to other regions of the world. 

Europe, home to both globally leading oil and gas companies and many of the world’s most influential scientific research organisations, can play a significant role. And as a major consumer of natural gas, Europe presents an opportunity to reduce emissions in the near-term within its borders and leverage its influence as a major gas purchaser to demand better practices from the countries in which gas is produced. EDF has recently established a European affiliate, Environmental Defense Fund Europe, which strengthens our global presence.


Overall Function

Under the direction of EDF’s Vice President, Climate & Energy, and with support from the European Executive Director, the European Methane Policy Director will play a leading role in executing EDF’s European strategy for methane, focused on achieving the following:  stronger commitments among countries and companies in Europe to quantify, report and reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry consistent with achieving the global reduction goal of 45% by 2025.  

Working as part of a new International Oil and Gas Team at EDF, the director will pursue this goal via a diverse set of strategies for engaging with policy makers, global oil and gas companies based in Europe, industry associations, investors, and the scientific community.  He/she will implement targeted advocacy campaigns, build strategic coalitions, and develop relationships with key decision-maker and opinion leaders. This position will work in close coordination with EDF science, industry engagement, communications, and policy/technical teams to support these efforts.

Ideal candidates will have a proven track record strategising and implementing policy advocacy campaigns in Europe, demonstrated knowledge of energy issues, strong communication and relationship management skills, and high degree of comfort with scientific and technical content.

The Director will orchestrate a unified strategy for reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry that applies four key levers:  policy, industry, investors, and science.  The director will not be responsible for implementing each individual strategy, but will instead coordinate across multiple EDF teams, partners, and consultants. 

Specifically, key areas of responsibility and oversight include:

  • In consultation with EDF’s technical and policy experts and European leadership team, map strategies for improving EU and individual country methane regulation for the upstream (i.e. European-based global oil and gas companies) and the downstream (i.e. European countries that are major consumers of gas). Work to embed methane into European climate agendas.
  • Engage with key scientific organisations and scientists to break new ground on the identification and quantification of methane leaks. Coordinate with EDF science team and key academic, research and industry stakeholder groups (e.g. the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative) on a series of methane studies in Europe.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with EDF’s industry engagement and international teams to work with European transnational oil and gas companies and major investors to instill leading practices for measuring, reporting, and reducing leaks throughout their global operations; and to socialise these practices with the national oil companies abroad, with whom they do business.
  • Expand and strengthen the cross-functional, matrixed team of EDF staff, partners, technical consultants, research partners, and contributing scientists working to advance these strategies. Negotiate contracts and grants.  Hire and train junior staff, including interns and fellows, as the budget allows.  Oversee annual budget.
  • Engage in proactive public communications, in consultation with EDF’s communications team. Write blogs and opinion editorials when appropriate, develop and deliver presentations, and speak with the media.  Represent EDF at conferences and major Europe and international meetings and events. 
  • Write proposals for funding and reports to donors, as needed.


  • Advanced degree, or equivalent work experience, in science, policy, economics, business administration or law in areas related to the environment and/or energy.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience working to affect change on climate and/or energy policy issues or regulatory processes in Europe, ideally with experience directly engaging with EU policymaking or regulatory institutions.
  • Demonstrated history of success in achieving environmental policy reforms through strategic campaigns and negotiations with policy makers, regulators, elected officials and other key stakeholders.
  • Strong understanding of policymaking, institutions, and political processes within the EU and key countries of interest (e.g., Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Romania etc.)
  • Existing relationships within relevant institutions and companies are an asset.
  • A strong base of knowledge about environmental and regulatory issues related to oil and gas production strongly preferred. Broader knowledge of the energy sector is an advantage as well.
  • Results-oriented, self-starter with the ability to think strategically and work on fast-paced, dynamic issues. Ability to recognise and build on political opportunities for progress.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a leader or member of teams in a dynamic and creative environment with colleagues and partners of varied background and experience. Able to prioritise and be flexible.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and at least one other European language.
  • Working knowledge of Arabic or Russian a plus.

Education and Experience

  • Interest in environment advocacy.


2-3 times/month, for 1-2 days at a time.  

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant’s qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

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